Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Why do they do it? And why do women get involved when they know there are children going to be hurt?

(174 Posts)

I just don't understand why anyone would do it to the children.

No one is forced to get involved, why not walk away, not answer the text, reply to the email, respond to the flirty look or comment.

My poor girls are finally asleep but still hicuping and so so sad.

I know 100% that the blame lies solely at his door but I just don't get it from the other females point of view, she knew he had us, she must have realised I had married a wanker but why allow herself to get involved, what about the children?

You may be able to tell that I'm raw and hurting this evening and I may well regret posting this but it's all so fucking lonely and such a waste of my life.

Hassled Tue 09-Jul-13 21:52:55

I'm with you - I just don't understand it either. My first H had an affair - and I could sort of forgive him (things were crap, we were miserable, he was never a bad man) but I just couldn't forgive her. Even now, a million years later and us both happily remarried, I sometimes think about her and ask what the fuck were you thinking?. As in your case, she knew the score - the kids etc.

So I do understand - but you're wrong that it was a waste of your life. Out of the wreckage you've got your girls - he may be a wanker, but without him you wouldn't have them. So - no regrets; just try to move on. It does get easier, I promise.

I can't imagine anything past right now.

Donyou think she is happy I have thrown him out, I had to lock him out with his clothes outside and our DC locked in our house crying and begging me to let me in.

I can't tell them why mummy won't let daddy in apart from that he has made me really cross and done a very bad thing.

What does that teach our children? Be naughty and mummy will lock you out? I bet he isn't crying over what he has done and I bet she doesn't even realise half of the pain she has caused.

ThingummyBob Tue 09-Jul-13 21:59:49

I dunno if you can blame the ow more than the unfaithful twat you married tbh OP.

I know someone whose 'd'h left for her best friend though. I don't get that at all.

I realise that you are in pain though and its not easy to rationalise when you have been trampled on so badly and I sympathise. There are twats of both genders unfortunately.

Someone better will be along with some wise words I'm sure, but until then I can offer <<<<hugs>>>.

maleview70 Tue 09-Jul-13 22:00:07

What surprises me more is why when some women know their partner is 100% to blame they cling on for dear life and some take them back.

I don't get that at all.

You cheat. You pay the price in my book.

Chubfuddler Tue 09-Jul-13 22:03:29

He has done this to you. Sorry. You don't actually know what she did or didn't know about you but even if she did know all about you, he was the one who made you promises. Not her.

debtherat Tue 09-Jul-13 22:05:08

Asked myself the same question again and again - simply put they don't care enough to deny their feelings - sexual, emotional etc. Will not ever forgive my oh's snappiness with ds and his assertion that "they will get over us separating" this at the same time one of my ds was suffering with an undiagnosed serious medical condition. If he had left and not cared enough about my ds I would have carried out my threat of revenge against him and OW. As it is not sure how bad he feels about this now - its all over he thinks .. but he lacks emotional empathy.. As for her
am still planning a surprise.... Just don't think either of them have felt equivalent emotional consequences... And this keeps me angry.

tribpot Tue 09-Jul-13 22:08:37

I know people who've had affairs with married men - including one who didn't know he had a partner until it was too late (she was pregnant). The common themes seem to be: compartmentalising, so the behaviour doesn't seem to be part of real life, and a belief that if no-one finds out, no-one's been hurt. Therefore it's okay. Oh and in one case - as she was single, it was him who was cheating and not her.

She may have known he had kids - but he was the one who actually had these kids. He was the one who chose to hurt them in the most cowardly way possible and then walk away. And frankly the solution to people cheating isn't to blame the people they cheat with. If it hadn't have been her it would have been someone else. He chose to cheat.

No I know it is all him and I suppose I am just so very sad. Because I can't forgive him, the DC are begging me to let him home, pulling all the hard cards because it was me that locked their daddy out and won't let him come home.

She knows, she has met us all, I caught them out in their emotional affair, building secrets together and letting each other into their private thoughts and feelings.

That kills me.

I can't ever forgive him.

Thing my best friend is the only person keeping me functioning at the minute, your poor friend and what a shit choice in husband and friends - that would kill me off!

Godit's all so lonely and painful.

Chubfuddler Tue 09-Jul-13 22:19:14

The children just want the status quo. Tbh they really don't know what is best for themselves.

So sorry you have been so hurt. But lay it at the door it belongs - his.

WhatWouldBeyonceDo Tue 09-Jul-13 22:22:59

Honestly OP I think some people just care more about themselves than anyone else. They're different, and precious and it's not like any of those other affairs that other lesser people have.

As a single woman, if I meet a man and find out he's taken (either married or girlfriend) instantly he becomes as sexless as a bag of potatoes. My morals wouldn't even entertain the idea. And if he came on to me if run a mile while telling him what a scum bag I thought he was

I'm not trying to sound all high and mighty, and of course people lie and sometimes you don't know they are taken.....but a woman who does know, I don't understand what goes through their minds. Yes your DH made promises to you, but what about the sisterhood? It makes me sad, that even though you've stated that she had met you and knew about you and the children, people have said well yes but she didnt make promises to you. BUT she is still wrong to do it. She is morally wrong.

Yes your DH cheated and is the bigger scum bag of the pair, but she is still a scum bag.

I have never experienced anything like this firsthand, but from watching people close to me go through it, it's devastating. Why someone would knowingly do it to someone else ill never understand.

Mixxy Tue 09-Jul-13 22:31:29

Your husband doesn't care about his own children's pain. He is using their anguish to force you to forgive and forget.

I don't know why OW do it. Makes them feel super alluring to know that they can make a man break his vows (just for me!) would be my guess.

My DHs first wife had an affair and left him for his childhood best friend (no kids involved, thank god). There are OM out there too. But then he met me and we have a nice little family. There is light the other side.


That's it.

Selfish, self centred, entitled individuals who think of nothing but them selves and nothing less than the emotions of children.

My children think this is my fault because I won't let him in, they have mobiles and I haven't stopped them once from communicating with him (I've read the messages and those poor children, how he hasn't died inside receiving those messages I don't know)

He arrived this evening with a self entitled air about him.

Whilst she is at home with her boyfriend maybe, probably, most likely continuing with their lovely email messages all day at work and now all night long...


Hello Mixxy blush I needed more than the other place tonight, I'm so sad, angry and fucking boiling.

I can't believe I have gone from such a high to this.

aww Mixxy I didn't read your reply properly through tears, that it so lovely.

I will never trust anyone else ever again, on the shelf at 36.

moonfacebaby Tue 09-Jul-13 22:39:00

I think it's a case of two very selfish people, who just do what they want to do, with very little thought to the devastation they leave behind. It's compartmentalising.

My exH had an affair & the OW was also cheating on her boyfriend. She didn't care that he had a 4 month old baby & a 6 year old. He was a selfish, entitled arse who thought he could get away with it - his classic line was "I didn't see it as an affair, I saw it as an extension of my other life at work". I reck

onedev Tue 09-Jul-13 22:40:13

I agree with you, yes it was him but she's scum too who obviously couldn't care less about anyone other than herself. I have no idea why some women do it. No morals is all I can think.

I'm so sorry you're going through this but everything will be ok - it's just hard to see it right now, but you will be, as will your children. You're stronger than you realise.

moonfacebaby Tue 09-Jul-13 22:41:39


I reckon he should have that classic line on his gravestone...

I'm sorry you are going through this Op - it's awful. There is a light at the end of the tunnel - I got there. Take care x

ThingummyBob Tue 09-Jul-13 22:43:13

Do you know what though Red my friend is a year down the line now and truly better off without him.

He even tried to come creeping back at one point and when my friend told him to get lost her ex-friend took him back. Points to the fact that they are actually as bad as each other - and deserve the misery and shit that no doubt remain a part of their lives.

I said that at least the friend will have to live with the fact that he will no doubt think with his cock again in the future.

We do a lot a furtive glancing of behalf of my friend when he and ex-friend are around (dcs sport) My friend however remains serene, and laughs A LOT. She still lives in ex marital home whilst he lives just along the same street with the ex-friend. I admire her for the way she has carried on and kept things together for her dcs.

I expect they feel very uncomfortable a lot of the time.

I don't see what I have done wrong

I haven't had sex with her

It doesn't mean anything

I can see it

I don't care, you have left our marriage emotionally it is as bad to me as doing the above

like our vows then?

I. Holding back on approaching her (work colleague) because I can't compose anything more than my snide ugly face and the urge to rip her head off so I'm staying away and aiming everything at him.

I can't imagine anything beyond this horrible pain that will always be there, I loved him.

Mixxy Tue 09-Jul-13 23:03:49

"It doesn't mean anything". God really, are there any cliches he hasn't spouted yet?

What was it in the text...something like, "how did it go when you got home"? -" fine. Just me and my thoughts".

What was the meaning of that?

ChippingInGoAndyGo Tue 09-Jul-13 23:04:37

When did you find out sad

I especially don't understand how someone who has met the kids can do it - they're no longer just an abstract concept, they are actual little people who you will hurt - people are just so self centred and deluded sad

How old are your lovely little girls?

Skillbo Tue 09-Jul-13 23:08:08

I just don't get it either,.*redcorner*... it is all H's fault of course but the OW in my case has a son of her own, so why she couldn't keep her hands off is beyond me - although H has stepped into full on step-father mode so maybe that was a small motivating factor as I know her XDP isn't on the scene?

I try not to think about it too much as I am sure she was fed a bag of shite by H but it still pisses me off that she not only decided she wanted a married man but didn't think twice about his DC!

It's all so fucking nasty and I've just noticed that all the emails I sent myself from his phone have been deleted!

Deleted from email,but not from my memory.

The text above said:

Her: great day yesterday ( in regards to a work thing)

Him: you're not wrong ( I taught him the difference between your and you're for a professional reason)

Her: everything ok when you got home last night?

Him: yep apart from my feelings

I have such an urge to text her, to let her know I know and what it has done, I will see her face to face next week at an invite your family event, give me fucking strength.

Mixxy Tue 09-Jul-13 23:14:07

I know I should be laughing but "I'm sure she was fed a bag of shite by H" made me burst out laughing at the laundromat.

chipping Saturday morning just gone I have another place here recently if you know what i mean but needed more tonight because ive been living off the adrenalin and now it's running out.

I hate him but I hate all the women out there that have an ego larger than their morals.

I can't even watch BB ffs

ChippingInGoAndyGo Tue 09-Jul-13 23:19:02

What's the worst of what you have read?

Mixxy Tue 09-Jul-13 23:19:19

He deleted them from your inbox!?! Oh he is in denial or trying to confuse you, paint you as a crazy.

You can recover deleted emails, just so you know. Contact gmail, yahoo or whatevers customer service and give them the dates you want resent to you.

I'm laughing at should instead of shouldn't now Mixxy!

It's 11pm here and a laundrette... grin

It's hotmail and I sent them in the early hours of sat night, 6th July?

Paint me as crazy is right, he has had be deranged for years because of his behaviour.

ChippingInGoAndyGo Tue 09-Jul-13 23:22:24

Yes - I know where you mean. It's great but the traffic volume is low.

Adrenalin definitely helps while it lasts, but it's a cow when it runs out sad

I can't even watch BB ffs

Oh - so some good HAS come out of it grin

FrancescaBell Tue 09-Jul-13 23:23:52

Wouldn't it be more of an ego boost though to have a single man want a relationship with you, instead of just wanting you for top-ups to his ego? How is that flattering?

I don't understand why some women do this either.

akaWisey Tue 09-Jul-13 23:23:58

It happened to me too red. My marriage and our family were everything to me.

I don't know why he did it, I don't know why she did. These are the questions only they could answer. My guess is that because he knew me better than anyone else on the planet he only told her the bad bits (once he'd had to confess to her that he was actually still married and living with me 'as if' things were normal) and she, once heavily emotionally involved, couldn't put herself in my position even though she had her own children.

I also guess she gave him an ultimatum and he must have felt he'd driven me so far to the edge of insanity (gas lighting and all) that he couldn't just back out. They are still together and I also guess that the huge financial, emotional, psychological cost of tearing apart a family must to some extent drive them both to make it work. That and all the bollocks about being 'soul mates' of course.

I don't torture myself too much any more. What he did was unforgivable to me, she was a bit part player and it doesn't matter. He is who he is and I don't doubt for a minute that he lies to her just as he lied to me. Indeed, my eldest DS saw him walking along with a (very attractive) woman only weeks ago who definitely is not OW - ex told DS "she's a colleague" - yeah and I'm the Queen. OW lives 100 miles away so she can't keep tabs on him. She's welcome to what was my world.

So please try and stop torturing yourself about the why's. There won't be any one reason but a set of circumstances, opportunity, inclination and selfish motives for what has happened and none of it was your fault.

And you will feel better but it takes time and resilience and the ability to separate yourself from them, all of which will grow as you make a life with your DC's .

Really sorry this happened to you too.

Top of my head chipping I know you on here?

Her: you text me first, do you remember being dragged into the toilet.

Him : lots of hello first emails, have you missed me.

Her: you have been quiet, everything ok at home.

Him: ok apart from my thoughts

Them, you text me first, missing me, thinking all day...

All emotional to me but enough with everything else.

ChippingInGoAndyGo Tue 09-Jul-13 23:30:56

FrancescaBell - no, I don't think they would see it as a bigger ego boost to be wanted by a single man. With a married man there is that 'I'm better than his wife, than his family' - better than something, with a single man they are simply better than being single.

Mixxy Tue 09-Jul-13 23:32:39

Haha! Of course I meant 'shouldn't be laughing'! Its like 100 degrees here and my washer dryer goes on the fritz. Sweaty fingers in the laundromat. Used to call them laundrettes when I lived other side of the pond. Always reminds me of Dot Cotton. But you have to pick up the slang over here!

I would retrieve those emails if I were you. I once highlighted a group of emails to move to a folder but deleted them by accident (brainy) and customer serviceresent them to me the next day. Just email them.

Massive ex post with aka I'm in tears and going to bed, I will read again in the morning.

I can't read your whole post tonight aka because I'm having a pity me party but once I've had a shower and washed my new haircut in the morning and taken our DC t school and sorted works out and ignored him, her and all else I will read, thank you so much for sharing.

He always hated me being on here and I don't care if he googles some random fact and finds me because I GET MORE FROM MN THAN YOU EVER GAVE ME.

ChippingInGoAndyGo Tue 09-Jul-13 23:40:54

AkaWisey - is that 'you', my old friend??? If so, PM me smile

Red - good idea to go to bed, try to get some sleep if you can night nurse if you have any.

Uber twat if he cyber stalks you on top of what he's already done. Git.

If this is the kind of 'man' he is, you are far better off without him - even if it doesn't feel like it right now.

akaWisey Tue 09-Jul-13 23:41:54

Pity parties are good red, indulge as much as you need to for now.

akaWisey Tue 09-Jul-13 23:43:53

Yes Chipping it's me!!!!! Will PM you.

Aww reunion on my thread x

Night night

FrancescaBell Wed 10-Jul-13 01:06:40

I wouldn't look at it like that though, Chipping.

Better than his wife and family? Why would anyone think that if he wants his wife and his family as well - for the long term I mean?

Surely it's just temporarily as well as a wife and family?

Not in preference to them?

I know a lot of these men who get kicked out when their cheating's discovered lie to the other woman that they left of their own accord and I suppose then she might think she's 'better' than his wife because she believes wrongly that he made a choice of her, over his wife and family.

But for an affair that's running alongside the marriage? No, I can't see how any other woman would think she's better in that situation.

She's just 'there and available' isn't she?

I still can't see how playing second fiddle to the main event could ever be more of an ego boost than being someone's first and only choice.

Mixxy Wed 10-Jul-13 01:09:16

They all buy the "only staying for the kids line".

FrancescaBell Wed 10-Jul-13 01:17:04

Some do, I'm sure. In fact I once knew a few who bought that line.

But I also once knew a few who didn't even say that. They were quite open this was just a roll in the hay and a bit of fun - at the start at least. They only started hauling in the Big Guns about loving the extra woman if they thought she was going to pull the plug or worse still blow the lid off the affair. The words 'I love you' seemed to buy more time and they certainly bought compliance and discretion. Twas only words though.

Mixxy Wed 10-Jul-13 01:32:42

Also, some women are very, very, very stupid. Dont count that out as a factor!

NotReallyFunctioning Wed 10-Jul-13 06:09:51

so sorry that you are going through this - not many wise words as I am in same situation. I found out 10 weeks ago.

My adrenaline has run out too - if you know where I can find it I would like some back!

I can sympathise so much with you as I am in a pity party today. I wish I could just curl up in a ball and make the world go away sad

I do not get how anyone cheats but that is because I am not a selfish person who thinks with their own needs above all else. The OW in my case was married too with 2 kids same age as ours - her daughter even came out with us on my daughter's special birthday day out all whilst affair was going on! I find it all so dreadfully sad that for them some exciting, illicit sex came above their kids' futures.

All I can say is that people tell me it will get easier with time and that you should use any support you can right now.

Hope you got some rest.

AuntieStella Wed 10-Jul-13 06:48:33

I have no idea why someone would do it.

And of course this isn't an either/or situation when you look at responsibility. The betrayal is totally the fault of the unfaithful partner, but that does not make the OW/OM's choices acceptable or moral, or even neutral.

And though the OM/OW has no place to be anywhere near heartbroken children, I do wonder what impact it would have if they really saw that pain.

OP: unfair as it is, you are your DC's rock, and I wish you well.

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 10-Jul-13 06:48:53

My OW was an old friend of ours hmm

FFS, she saw us get married & knew our DC. We even had get togethers with our DC during the affair!!

I tried to understand her motivations but realised I didn't want to give her headspace and stopped focusing on her.

Thank you all for sharing I wish I could say I feel better this morning but I don't, I can't imagine 10 weeks of this pain.

We will all get to that better place we are told about, friends through DC are finding out and come to help me stay strong.

I'm a private person but for the sake of the SC I'm going to accept their help.

pausingforbreath Wed 10-Jul-13 07:53:19

I was where you are ; my mind whirring, refusing to stop when I was told of my husbands affair.
One of the questions I asked was why would she do it ? ; knowingly enter into a 'relationship' with someone that by definition was based on lies, deceit and tears.
KNOW from the beginning that it would end in tears, either her own or the tears of his wife and children's. Then enter into the relationship regardless.

I never got an answer - there again, as I couldn't bring myself to ever do it myself ,no answer would of been good enough.

Another question was how could she lie there and let another woman's husband, the father of their kids climb on top of her and let him f**k her - what goes through her head at that time?
Again , no answer for me could be sufficient - I don't get it (thankfully) and could never do it myself, can never understand the morals of someone who could.

Ironically, ( for me ) when she was told that they were 'over' - he would not be leaving me for her as she had demanded ;she went mental.
Couldn't believe what a lying cheating bastard he was.... Oh hello ! Considering that by definition of it being an affair, it didn't need Sherlock Holmes to work that out.
But I did find out that the lies and deception were only okay when told to me - funny enough she didn't like it when it happened to her.

Double standards as well as low standards on her part.

But saying all that, she never owed me a thing. He did, he was the one running around being deceitful , lying and betraying. She was single, she choose to believe all his lies , but he was the one totally in the wrong.

I hope you can get some peace from your whirring, angry head. Look after yourself and some un mumsnetty hugs from me - its a horrible place to be.

Yes, she was a co worker too.

Offred Wed 10-Jul-13 08:04:03

Affairs are complicated and all different. People all feel differently about fidelity. It is pointless trying to generalise about why they happen.

I'm quite uncomfortable with the implications constantly seen that women must be the guardians of all other women and children because men are just given to having affairs.

In all cases it is absolutely the person who made the commitment to the family that is to blame and who is responsible. I think it is a big mistake to focus on the ow/om.

Offred Wed 10-Jul-13 08:06:11

Big mistake because it is symptomatic of letting the h/w/p off the blame/responsibility btw which just prolongs the agony and time you spend with a partner who is not even your friend...

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 10-Jul-13 08:07:21

They do it because 'all's fair in love and war'. He'll have told them he's unhappy at home, 'the wife doesn't understand me', he's on the verge of leaving or some such. They could be lonely and grateful for any kind of attention. Maybe they don't think it'll ever come to light... so no harm done.

Wouldn't really waste too much time thinking of motivations.

Offred Wed 10-Jul-13 08:07:43

And I think someone else's moral choices/feelings about the morality of infidelity are not really your business and not something it is helpful to you to be concerned about.

thatstripedthing Wed 10-Jul-13 08:55:01

Yes, I understand your point but, being the 'OW' in a long and ongoing EA, the decision to pursue and continue this lie with him and not with me. I agree with the poster upstream who mentioned compartmentalising, though. And - not only to make you feel better - I am sure he is devastated.

siasiluf Wed 10-Jul-13 09:26:45

I have changed my name to post this as I did have a long-ish affair with a married man, a long time ago.

I hope I am less stupid than I was then, but as to offering an insight, well perhaps I can help a little bit. (I don't expect any sort of validation, it's not a perspective I'm proud to have on the subject)

At the time I had had one relationship of a few years, was still a virgin and was very lonely and pretty vulnerable (mental health issues). I was desperate to be loved.

This man came and knocked on my door and we got talking. He was friends with my neighbour. It was like a switch had been turned on, and I felt very strongly for him.

He seemed to want to do it - to be outside of his familiar life, to break free, he was not happy, his life with his family was great but he felt lost in it I think. Like, the actual 'self' he wanted to cling to, was lost, was not recognised. It didn't fit with how he felt he really was.

Love isn't such a simple thing is it, I suppose - in the relationship I had had, I'd 'loved' the boy I'd been with but at the same time part of me wasn't involved, the sad, unhappy, depressed, loner in me was being pushed to one side, it didn't fit in with this lovely, happy person I was living with, in fact with any sort of positive relationship really.

So I wanted to go and look for someone who recognised that side of me - the tragedy I needed to play out I suppose. I wasn't 'myself' with my boyfriend. I got obsessed with a pop star and realised that I couldn't sustain a relationship with someone so happy and wholesome, and we broke up, though I stopped short of being unfaithful (not that we had that sort of physical relationship anyway, we were very young).

I understood then, the thing about loving someone but loving yourself more. Still though I thought it was very wrong to lie, to be unfaithful. I couldn't justify the married man's behaviour. I wanted us to be together.

My own upbringing involved a mother who was very controlling and didn't want me to spend time with my own father, who was the only person I felt actually liked me. So you can see there was big potential for transference there. In a way, his wife became the representation of my mother, in my head, and he became my father, all the time I was seeking to get him to 'do the right thing' and tell her that actually, he loved me, and wanted to be with me. It was fucked up.

I didn't want to cause any hurt but at the same time, I felt I needed him very much - whenever we broke up, we both crawled back to one another, it was very very painful. He was also playing out his own childhood mess, boarding school at a very young age meant that he was very able to compartmentalise, he had a 'home' and a 'school' and I think sometimes they got mixed up - he had some anger going on towards his parents (wife I suppose) that he wasn't even conscious of.

So it was all massively wrong. I was stupid and inexperienced, he was over a decade older than me, and I was very, very deeply in love. I felt like every breath I took was for him, was to be with him, and he was my first proper sexual partner.

So there is a picture of how it felt. Even now I am ashamed to be in my own skin, for what I helped him do, for what I did. The hurt was never intended but it was kind of irrelevant, to us - our own needs were driving us.

I'd never lied in my life until I met him. I hated lying though it was fascinating too. I felt like this 'love' was worth doing anything for. I was really wrong about that. I feel like I kind of sold my soul. It's not nice and I can never take it back.

Still we are close. He married again (not me) and I still see him. And the other day we looked at each other and I said, you know, we can't take back the awful thing we did, but half of my heart would do it again. The other half is scared of how wrong, how 'evil' I was capable of being. He said he knows what I mean.

I wish I had never met him but at the same time I have never been so happy, so 'complete' as I felt in those days.

It's fucked up and it's horrible. I guess what you can take from this as someone who has been betrayed is that the person betraying you was to blame. Not anything you did - in fact the more 'ok' you are, or were, the more lovely and competent and sound, the happier you were, the more likely it is that they would have needed someone else to play out the miserable, screwed up and deeply wrong side of their character with.

siasiluf Wed 10-Jul-13 10:21:23

Also I think he justified it to himself by thinking, genuinely, that his family needed him, and needed to carry on as it was, so he was doing them a favour not telling them.

I genuinely think that if no one had let his wife know, he would have carried on indefinitely. He thought it was hurting them less if they could still have the life they were used to, while he sought 'solace' elsewhere, on the quiet,

and I wonder if he was right about that.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 10-Jul-13 10:24:18

"I'm quite uncomfortable with the implications constantly seen that women must be the guardians of all other women and children because men are just given to having affairs"

I think that is very well put Offred.

WhatWouldBeyonceDo Wed 10-Jul-13 10:46:37

I don't think that it's women must been seen as the guardians of other women.

It's why would anyone do that to another person. Man or woman.

Some men have affairs, some don't, some women have affairs, some don't.

If you take the gender out of it, you are left with the why?

In this case, the DH is the most wrong by far, but the OW
Is still wrong.

The OW/OM in any affair situation are not blameless. They cannot excuse their behaviour. Yes the married partner is the one who broke vows. But knowingly sleeping with someone else's spouse is wrong. They can use every reason in the book, but it's just excuses. The bottom line is, they chose to get into a relationship (physical or emotional) with someone else's spouse. So they should be held accountable for their own actions.

Do not treat people in a way you would not like to be treated. It's simple way to live, but very effective.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 10-Jul-13 10:49:51

But they're human beings too, not saints. No-one is. Just because there's a ring on a finger or people have moved in together, 'shit happens'. People behave badly, make poor choices, make mistakes. Break the law and you can be carted off to jail but when it comes to breaches of morality there is no accountability so it's down to everyone to operate their own standards and value system. Some people have different standards to others, that's all. We have to live with that.

Offred Wed 10-Jul-13 10:53:40

Ok but ow/om are not doing anything to someone's w/h/p are they? They don't have any relationship or commitment to them, sometimes they don't know about them, sometimes they don't particularly care about them and that's not nice but I'm not sure why they should be made responsible for their lover's choices?

I'm saying this as a person who's ex (father of two dc) slept with over 50 other people during our relationship. Some of them who were friends shat on the relationship they had with me in my mind but I don't feel they are responsible for my ex's responsibilities to me and the dc at all. That's too much to ask of someone I think.

Absolutely it is common for people to expect ow to be responsible for the wife and children's hurt. I see it commonly and I think it is because that is the natural feeling you have after the shock of discovering your lover is a liar and a cheat, it is part of the readjustment to feel like blaming the ow and I was tempted by those feelings at first too, normal, but not healthy and not rational. IMHO anyway.

cheerfulweather Wed 10-Jul-13 10:54:14

Some people don't have a strong moral code, or are selfish or unpleasant. They owe you nothing (the 'they didn't make a vow to you' argument often comes up), but they must be deeply unpleasant individuals to enter into such an affair knowingly. Of course the husband is most at fault and that's where the majority of blame should rest.
Also the possibility they have been lied to about the relationship status by the (not necessarily yours) husband.

cheerfulweather Wed 10-Jul-13 10:56:18

Oops, husband or wife, corrects self, woman have affairs too of course blush

Roundtheruggedrocks Wed 10-Jul-13 10:57:08

I genuinely think that women do it because they've been fed some utter bullshit from the DH about his family. I have had married men come on to me in my early twenties and the pictures they tried to paint were things like: the DW has given him the cold shoulder, he and the DW sleep in separate beds and he hasn't had sex for 5 years and you can bring him back to life, that she is militant and strict and anal and the DCs have an ordered, miserable, safety obsessed life with her, with no creativity or adventure, but he can see in the future with the OW camping trips, Alton Towers, adventure holidays etc. Also the bullshit line "my DCs would love you! You need to meet them."

It's utter cunt crap/

Offred Wed 10-Jul-13 10:57:27

And it is part of this "men are visual creatures, they also instinctively want to shag about and need constant variety of experiences, women are less sexual and feel insecure about what men just have to do so they have to lie to women about it, it isn't really their fault it is just how men are" woman blaming narrative that is really common.

Offred Wed 10-Jul-13 11:02:39

Or "our marriage wasn't very good so I can understand it" often the relationship is shit because the cowardly partner has disengaged either before in order to seek and affair or after because they are investing in one. The commitment I think is one of communication as well as fidelity. If the relationship was crap that doesn't affect the cheating partner's blame worthiness I think.

burberryqueen Wed 10-Jul-13 11:08:16

they do it because they do not care - as my stepmother memorably said to my mum when she was the OW when asked about the effect her actions might have on me and my brother "I do not give a fuck"

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 10-Jul-13 11:12:08

When my exH left me for an old flame, I'm very sure she did not care about me. Not in a malicious way but, she'd never met me, had no ties to me, and wasn't responsible for me in the slightest. OK I was devastated at the time and would have happily killed both of them had I had the opportunity but, the more I think about it, why should she have defended my marriage on my behalf? She owed me nothing...... Besides which, she saved me from having to spend more years with Mr Fuckwit

FrancescaBell Wed 10-Jul-13 11:14:01

I always wonder why there are these strange posts about women not being saints or moral guardians of men's fidelity, when there have been no posts suggesting that they are. Nor have there been any posts conferring more blame on third parties than the married men themselves.

Why is not possible to have a discussion about the motivations of people who do harm in their own right, without points that haven't even entered the discussion being attacked?

I'd be the first person to challenge anyone who suggested that women as a sex should have a higher morality than men or were more to blame for infidelity than men, but I can see no reason to attack unwritten and unexpressed thoughts and I find it very puzzling when other posters do this.

LessMissAbs Wed 10-Jul-13 11:14:39

Because the men chase them. I speak from personal experience - I have always turned down the attached men that have chased me, I find it a deeply off-putting trait in a man, but they always, always chase the woman, very cleverly, making her believe they are a "good guy".

And they also pick on vulnerable women. My friend recently separated from her husband, and is surrounded by predatory men, all of them attached, wanting to have dinners with her to make her feel better, or help her with something. She hasn't chased any of them, but having been in a relationship for years, doesn't know the signs to spot of a creepy man. Until I pointed out the phrase "I have no plans to get married" with reference to the long term girlfriend and mother of his two kids wasn't exactly a marker of a nice guy.

They also use the internet. And lie.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 10-Jul-13 11:18:04

The thought was implied. If women should always say 'no' to a married man because to say 'yes' would mean harming wives and children then they are being accused of malice aforethought when the truth is probably anything but. If we were to hold everyone up for public opprobrium for the sin of having hurt other people's feelings through thoughtlessness and selfishness, there wouldn't be anyone that didn't qualify.

AuntieStella Wed 10-Jul-13 11:23:53

Both sexes should think before becoming involved with someone's spouse/partner.

Whichever way round you gender it, the OM/OW is not a neutral party in an affair.

Kaluki Wed 10-Jul-13 11:35:00

This question comes up over and over again on here.
I think it comes down to moral decency (or lack of it), selfishness and lack of self respect.
Of course the shitbags men are more to blame - they are the ones breaking their vows and lying but the OW surely has a moral duty to respect that a man with a family is off limits. Even if she feels no loyalty to the wife (because the marriage is dead etc etc...) then who on earth would willingly inflict such pain on a child by pulling his/her world apart?.
All this "we couldn't help our feelings" stuff is bullshit. If we all acted on every single impulse or feeling we have the prisons would be even fuller than they are now.
Intheredcorner - I have been where you are too. I was pg with ds2 and ds1 was 3. I have never felt more devastated or desperate in my life but now 10 years on I am very happy with my new DP and I think he did me a favour. I still feel for my dc though, especially ds2 who has never lived with his daddy and will soon have to watch him be a proper dad to a new baby with his shiny new girlfriend.
Keep strong - you will get through this. My ex had another affair and left the OW for a woman who shat all over him and will admit that I enjoyed watching karma come and bite his arse!!!

Offred Wed 10-Jul-13 11:41:20

It's not a "we can't help our feelings" thing it is a 'OW/M are not responsible for another person's commitments' thing.

Not everyone feels the same way about marriage or fidelity. Not every situation is the same. Although I think all affairs are wrong, for example, the nastiness of the cheater can hugely vary i.e. the difference between darkesteyes' cheating in a sexless marriage and the horrible man who recently left his wife pregnant with their fourth child saying he'd cheated all along because he never loved her.

The ow/om are fairly materially irrelevant to the situation, the decision to cheat is being made by the one with the commitment. The ow/om is making a decision to be with that person not to devastate a wife/children.

Aetae Wed 10-Jul-13 11:42:41

I think Offred has put it very well, and Cogito - particularly this If we were to hold everyone up for public opprobrium for the sin of having hurt other people's feelings through thoughtlessness and selfishness, there wouldn't be anyone that didn't qualify.

For me there are two key points about the ow/om and why they are not as culpable as some would have it:

- no one can be the guardian of someone else's morality. I had an extremely Catholic boyfriend once who went to confession every time we kissed. Was I by association guilty for that 'sin'? His mother thought so, I didn't. His morals, his problem- people have different morals. The person who is responsible for not hurting their spouse/partner is the one doing the cheating, not the one with whom they cheat.

- is it an associated moral 'sin' to have a relationship with someone you know to be 'taken'? Possibly. It's genuinely not possible to care actively about the whole world - if it were someone in the same friendship circle then I would say the ow/om has a duty of care but a complete stranger? Why should they be accountable? A Cogito pointed out, that's not realistic.

And I do strongly agree with Offred's points that this is part of a woman blaming dialogue. There is no 'sisterhood' that owes it to you to look after you while men are void of volition or accountability.

Kaluki Wed 10-Jul-13 11:44:26

The ow/om is making a decision to be with that person not to devastate a wife/children.
But you can't make a decision without accepting responsibility for its consequences.
That is a cop out.

Offred Wed 10-Jul-13 11:47:29

You cannot make people responsible for unlimited consequences of their choices either.

Suesue22 Wed 10-Jul-13 11:48:11

In the earlier stages its easier to blame ow cause you are so hurt but as time goes on you will realise he's the one at fault as he broke the vows and the trust. Don't know how either of them can live with what they've done wrecking families. Mind yourself and your children.

Kaluki Wed 10-Jul-13 11:58:13

Its pretty certain though that if you have an affair with a married man his wife and kids are going to be devastated.
Part of being a decent human being is not deliberately setting out to hurt someone else for your own gain.

Tryharder Wed 10-Jul-13 11:58:22

I think you were wrong to lock him out when your DDs were crying for him. I know you don't want to hear that and you want him to be the baddy and shoulder the blame and be the one to have hurt your kids.

But you should have had the conversation away from your DCs and not use their pain to point score over your DH. I'm sure that was not your intention but that was how it came across in your post.

I think marriages can recover from affairs emotional or otherwise. Up to you whether you think yours can. But you owe it your kids, both of you, not to drag them into your rows and dramatics of kicking the wronged partner out, bin bags of clothes on the front lawn etc.

And the OW owes your nothing. The sisterhood does not exist.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 10-Jul-13 12:06:23

"Its pretty certain though that if you have an affair with a married man his wife and kids are going to be devastated"

That assumes all affairs come to light. They really don't. Affairs can go on for decades quite happily and no-one ever discovers. Like a lot of other things, it's a gamble, not a certainty.

BlueSkySunnyDay Wed 10-Jul-13 12:13:23

"Some people don't have a strong moral code, or are selfish or unpleasant."

That pretty much sums it up really.

I don't think the ow is totally to blame obviously the bulk of the blame lies with the cheating partner but if I hurt even someone I didn't know that badly I would struggle to live with the guilt. I guess people with a slacker moral code or someone who is emotionally damaged just doesn't have that moral compass to gauge what is right and what is wrong.

I did hmm recently when Anthea Turner and Grant Bovey separated because he was seeing someone else and she said "he is not the man I married" Hmmmm the one who cheated on your friend with you - I don't know but this sounds like exactly the man you married.

When I was single I was approached dozens of times by married men - I didn't think "ooh how wonderful I must be, he wants to be with me rather than his wife" I thought "you creepy f*cuker, I wouldn't touch you with a barge pole"

It will get better, just take one day at a time - it will take a while and that is fine, let it take as long as you need.

Kaluki Wed 10-Jul-13 12:14:06

Of course Cogito that is assuming they get caught.
But for a lot of people that is part of the thrill isn't it.
The sisterhood does exist for some (me!). Having experienced the pain of being cheated on, I could not do that to another person, however strong my feelings were. I just wouldn't be able to live with myself.

BlueSkySunnyDay Wed 10-Jul-13 12:15:57

Cogito - Its amazing how some people delude themselves affairs are not known just because its not discussed doesn't meant people are not perfectly aware they are going on.

I've known a few people who thought they lived in some kind of romantic affair bubble when other people were actually discussing it, and judging them, behind their backs.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 10-Jul-13 12:35:50

It's not necessarily delusional. There are many cases of people successfully enjoying discreet, private affairs that aren't being discussed or judged, at the same time as having very happy marriages. The parties involved often live at a distance and aren't connected with each other socially or through work. Goes on all the time.

Offred Wed 10-Jul-13 12:36:01

I can see why on the other side of the pain of being cheated on you might go either way; 'I could never do it to someone' or 'It was done to me' but then there are also people who just don't realise because it hasn't happened to them or who absolve themselves of needing to think about it and people who have thought about it and don't consider it important. It's simply too remote a responsibility to put on the OW/M for me. It involves the assumption as cog says that they must have realised about the wife and kids and decided to shit on them anyway and I think things are rarely that simple.

dadwithbaby Wed 10-Jul-13 12:42:19

As a dad whose wife walked out on 5 children for an OM. Its easy to blame the partner but they both made and informed conscious decision to do what they both did. Why a person does these things is in my opinion more a reflection of their character.
Yes like the typical spouse she lied and portrayed an image straight out of a shakespearian tragedy and even though he knew the reality decided to continue knowing the impact that it would have on the children.
In affairs both parasites parties often display a blinkered selfishness ignoring any and all consequences placing any and often all blame on the unfortunate spouse who is being proverbally shafted.
6 months on the two are still together and their dream has all but collasped and she has lost all her children ... They have cut her out of their lives with the exception of a 2 year old who she now wants for the potential financial assistance he can give her and her new partner.
Inthecorner it is raw and painful and yes we do feel bloody lonely and low at times but without that fuckwit and in my case bitch then we wouldn't have the lovely children we have.
There is no point constantly thinking about the why's and what ifs all we do is punish ourselves and during this hurtful time further lower our self worth. I am 41 and at times feel I will be forever alone and that my 18 year relationship/marriage was all a lie but what keeps me going are my boys who incidentally are improving greatly and as much as it pains me to say as dad they are flourishing without contact.
Concentrate on what's best for you and your lovely children don't punish yourself you are worth far more flowers

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 10-Jul-13 12:43:21

"Having experienced the pain of being cheated on, I could not do that to another person"

Another motivation, of course, is that if someone has made big sacrifices to be faithful in a relationship, and then been left high and dry by a cheat running off with an OW, they may actually feel that the 'sisterhood' obligation is even less relevant. Been there myself.

Offred is quite right. These things are rarely, if ever, 'simple'

FrancescaBell Wed 10-Jul-13 13:21:24

they may actually feel that the 'sisterhood' obligation is even less relevant. Been there myself.

But why? The woman you're hurting isn't the same one who hurt you, is she? How strange.

I think it's improbable to have discreet affairs without there being some hurt either.

If anything's 'simplistic' it is that belief.

I do think the ones having the affair delude themselves that men, women and children only start hurting once they know the cheating has happened.

If you aren't living in those people's houses, you've got no clue how 'happy' or blissfully unaware those inhabitants are.

None at all.

Offred Wed 10-Jul-13 13:27:35

That's exactly the point Francesca. The issues are too remote for the OW/M or not a commitment they have chosen/would choose/think is important.

FrancescaBell Wed 10-Jul-13 13:30:54

That suggests a lack of empathy for fellow human beings though. It's probably a reasonable assumption of yours in terms of some people's mindsets, but having a lack of empathy for a stranger isn't a positive character trait is it?

Offred Wed 10-Jul-13 14:13:00

We're not talking about empathy. We're talking about responsibility. We're also not talking about whether people who sleep with other people's partners are 'good' people or whether that is 'good' behaviour just about whether they should be expected to take responsibility for the hurt a wife/children might feel on discovery of an affair.

OrmirianResurgam Wed 10-Jul-13 14:38:06

Because the heart wants what the heart wants.....

OK, stop puking grin

If H had hurt you with a knife I could totally understand saying it was 100% his fault. He didn't hurt you with a knife, he hurt you with a person, an adult (presumably) intelligent human being with a knowledge of right and wrong and hopefully a little empathy. We all know that the one who broke his vows and promises was in the wrong but the other party doesn't escape all blame.

So sorry OP sad Stay strong x

RoooneyMara Wed 10-Jul-13 14:41:01

Actually, when my child's father left me for another woman, (and I have been on both sides of that coin) I didn't blame her at all.

How could ? That would be like saying he belonged to me. And he didn't, and if he wasn't happy with me then what the fuck right did I have to keep him there?

The whole point was, he had CHOSEN to be with her, he was still faffing around with me and had lied about where he was living. I found out via a third party.

I was devastated but I didn't for one moment think, 'that horrible cow has stolen someone else's man'. I thought, Oh, she probably fancied him and he realised he preferred her to me. sad

I was very angry that he had lied, and yes that he had left (which wasn't fair of me) and I was envious of her, but it was never her fault. She didn't owe me anything, he was the only one who had any right to choose whom he had a relationship with.

But then it didn't go on for ages. And he left me for her in the end and that was up to him. She didn't do anything wrong, not at all.

But then when he came back to me, during their marriage, and wanted to sleep with me I didn't turn him down either, or feel any guilt about that. Bit of a headfuck but there you kind of established in my mind that he was the root of the issue, his behaviour, no one else's.

missbopeep Wed 10-Jul-13 14:43:45

IME of friends etc, and men who have had affairs, the men spin a line or two about the marriage being dead, they want to stay in it for the sake of the children until they reach a certain age OR they want to leave but don't want the financial upheaval that goes with it. And often the 'bit on the side' makes the marriage more bearable, ironically.

I know there may be women around who, because of their own hang ups, prefer a man who is already committed and actually unavailable, but I have known both women and men who were OW/OM and they were all hanging on in waiting for the other person to leave the marriage. Often it was a case of 'after their GCSEs' or 'after their A levels', or 'once they have got their degree'.

I don't know anyone who was in it just for sex. It was the HOPE of a long term relationship that kept them there- if they waited long enough. And I've known couples who had affairs for 20 years , undiscovered, and each left their marriages once the kids were older.

OrmirianResurgam Wed 10-Jul-13 14:46:01

When I had what I now realise was a form of EA many years ago, the thought of his gf was just an irrelevance, a distraction. I didn't feel guilty because as far as I could see we were just being friends - such a big fat LIE. When he wanted to make it more serious it was the thought of my H that stopped me and had me running for the hills and a new job. I think that was when the guilt would have started towards her - up till that point I could tell myself it was nothing. Was I responsible for my part in it? Yes. 100%. My choice, all the way.

FrancescaBell Wed 10-Jul-13 14:56:43

We're not talking about empathy. We're talking about responsibility.

Well yes we are talking about empathy.

And no 'we' (whoever we is) are not talking about responsibility.

The OP certainly isn't. She says she blames her partner 100%.

If you and others want to talk about responsibility for some reason, go right ahead but let's not pretend that's the issue raised by the OP.

FrancescaBell Wed 10-Jul-13 15:06:27

I've met a whole bunch of men and women over the years who had affairs that they saw as short-term interludes. I've also known people who viewed them as the real deal and a possible long term alternative to the relationship they were in, even if some did change their minds later when the buzz wore off and they'd been dumped by their cheated-on partners. I've also known people who've been happy having left for an affair.

I find it odd when posters say they've only come across one type of affair i.e. ones where the people were in them for love and had high hopes of a permanent relationship. I guess some people have either had a narrowness of life experiences or they've got some undisclosed reason for claiming that.

OhTiger Wed 10-Jul-13 15:12:29

may have been mentioned (sorry if it has) but don't underestimate the lies these men tell. Starting with the classic "she doesn't understand me" - classic for a reason. We don't sleep together any more, she is abusive, I only stay for the children, she only stays for the children. Yes, you do have to be naive to believe them, but naive people, or those who have not ever been touched by this sort of deception before will fall for it. It can be relentless, and the men that spout these lies can be charming and persuasive, and are often older and more experienced than those they pursue.

However, a woman getting involved with a man that is not clearly 'free' can usually be considered seriously lacking in sense. Moral or otherwise.

Aetae Wed 10-Jul-13 15:19:21

I think you can empathise and still not think you need to change your behaviour, and do so without being a sociopath or devoid of a moral compass.

I think it's possible to understand that something (eg an affair) could be painful for someone and not feel that your behaviour is the direct cause of it (eg because the person cheating is the one at fault). I don't think this is like murder where you can be guilty as an accessory simply by being present.

I also think love is not logical, and not all affairs are sordid manipulative things born of baser than dirt morals and shagging.

missbopeep Wed 10-Jul-13 16:23:53

I don't know why my comments strike you as odd Francesca. I was saying what I had found in RL. Obviously my life experiences are more limited than yours. Or my friends and acquaintances are just different to the people you have known.

And I don't get your 'undisclosed' comment at all- other than you could have undisclosed reasons for claiming your variety of experiences.
Most odd comment.

Offred Wed 10-Jul-13 18:25:05

I don't think the op was talking about empathy she was asking why ow took part in affairs despite the effect it has on wives/children.

As I said up thread that sound implies ow are meant to think about devastated wives and children and not get involved with a married man I.e. take responsibility.

Just because somebody does something it doesn't mean they don't have any empathy.

I wasn't talking about empathy but I can see how some one can empathise but still not care less and do it anyway.

She knows about me and our DC and still decided to do what she wanted anyway, that, I can't understand.

And I still blame my husband 100% but just can't understand from her pov.

celticclan Wed 10-Jul-13 19:16:56

In my opinion there are three reasons why people enter relationships with married men/women.

1) They are self centred arseholes with narcissistic type personalities. The relationship is about them and them only.

2) They are not capable of being in an ordinary relationship. They need the thrill of an illicit relationship, they feel that they have been chosen over the married partner and that boosts their fragile self-esteem.

3) They are human and make mistakes. They didn't intend for anyone to get hurt but it happened and as time passes they may realise the error of their ways and feel pretty shit about it.

Roseflowers Wed 10-Jul-13 19:56:28

I was once the OW. The man in question wasn't married, though he was in a longish term relationship with his girlfriend.

I had a boyfriend when we met, our relationship was shit and was making me unhappy but it was the first ever real relationship I had been in so didn't know any different (as stupid as that sounds). Me and the cheater met at work and we quickly fell for each other. He was the driving force and the instigator in the whole thing. He told me how unhappy he was with his girlfriend (sleeping on the sofa, fighting all the time, didn't love her anymore) and that he wanted to leave but couldn't because he was stuck renting a flat with her for 6 months and couldn't afford to leave/ had nowhere to go/ couldn't face splitting up with her and living in that confined space together for the next 6 months.

I loved him utterly (had never been in love before) and hey, I knew that my relationship was shit and that he had woken me up to how terrible it was, so why wouldn't the same be the case for him? After TWO YEARS of lies, heartbreak, being cheated on and abused by him and basically having my life ruined I realized he was actually a shit and a very damaged person. I did believe every lie he told me though. I did feel bad for getting involved with someone who was taken but I did truly believe the things he said about how crap his relationship was, how much he loved me etc, and that it was just a case of waiting till he could move out and we could be together properly. Oh, and I wasn't pathetic, desperate or damaged when we met. I was happy, confident, outgoing, surrounded by friends etc. Funny how by the time things with him ended the opposite was the case...

I say this only in the hope of offering a different view point. Dunno if it helps at all

It does help Rose it's another proven fact that every relationship/reason is different and I'm so sorry he put you through that.

This time next week I will be attending a family work early evening with her there as one of the many hosts.

We have a family invite and I intend to still go with my DC but minus the not so D Husband and hold my head high, actions speaking louder than words and she will know I know by silence.

He will not be joining us because he has a date with a bedsit wall and a microwave meal for one or whatever he chooses to be doing.

stooshe Thu 11-Jul-13 02:05:18

I can understand where you are coming from. However ( and I am sure you know this) the blame should lie at your man's door. To expand on your question.... I never understood (unless there really is a "connection" and still I'd be wary) why women believe all the gumpf that the cheating man says to them about their "miserable, battleaxe" girlfriends/wives. Maybe it's just me, but getting validation from a man slagging off (probably slandering) another woman seems to be setting yourself up to be treated the same. Then to go on and try and be the woman who the cheated upon girlfriend/ wife wasn't in order to keep a cheating sod (instead of being oneself) seems to be deranged too. This is why I do feel that cheating men can "thrive". It's not that there is always a hole waiting for a cheating pole, it's that the world is seemingly full of women waiting to throw their lives over for not the one time cheat who is in a miserable relationship (apparently), but what they must know is a serial cheater. Seeing this phenomena in women makes me know that too many women have out of control egos and low self esteem....the kind of combination that will make them feel good about themselves for taking another woman's man and not the fact that they now have the man that will make them happy...predators are not only men and there are unfortunately a lot of (sexist term alert) slags out there, who when their file has been dashed out there for all to see, its pure side chick status that one can see. Worse it that there is a recent phenomenon where the side chick will go out of her way to get pregnant, knowing that the man will never leave his "woman" voluntarily. I'm not suggesting that side chick should run to a nunnery and give her baby up for adoption, but come on man, which woman in her right mind would brazenly go out of her way to get pregnant for another woman's man? The world is too full with too many entitled people. I'm just sorry that too many women feel that we have to act like the worst of the straight males and expect respect (because we are cute, fluffy women...awww) or worse, they expect less disrespect and scorn than your average male "ho". Final analysis...Men can be shit and nobody can't tell me that a woman at her conniving worst cannot match a man step for step in dark, selfish thoughts and behaviour.

Ididitonce Thu 11-Jul-13 02:56:57

Like the name says.

I was 21 and in my first proper job. The guy was in his early 40s, my boss, charismatic etc etc etc.

He was married with two children. I had met his wife.

Simply put, I wasn't mature enough and had no real life experience to be able to put myself in her shoes, or realise the magnitude of what I was doing. And at the time, I wasn't actually sure how to say no to that sort of attention. We are all brought up with the idea that attention from a man is the ultimate in approval and validation. And that if a man is paying you attention, and 'loving' you and 'choosing' you, then that is more valid than anyone else's experience of the situation.

I actually only slept with him once, after he had manipulated an away sales trip, and I realised that I actively tried not to think about what had been going on, and hid it from everyone, and that could only be bad. That it wasn't good. And I moved jobs about a month later.

The older I get, the worse I feel about what I did. I will never forgive myself.

Unhingea Thu 11-Jul-13 10:49:13

NC for this, as I am so ashamed to admit it.

I did the same as Ididitonce. I was 22, very naive, only had one disastrous relationship previously, also with a much older man.

He was my boss. He flattered me from the minute I was employed and I was dazzled by him. Like someone else said, I got all the lies. Didn't sleep with his wife, separate rooms, only together for the children. He'd had previous affairs too, and told me about them, but it was because she didn't trust him, so he may as well.

Difference for me was that he left her for me. I had a horrid horrid 14 year marriage that I should never have been in in the first place. He was an emotional abuser and a control freak and should not have been allowed anywhere near women. He let his children treat me like dirt. I have no doubt he cheated on me many times, I found evidence once and chose to believe he was just looking, after all, I knew what would happen if I didn't trust him, right?

But I brought it all on myself by being a thoughtless selfish bitch, I really did. If I could turn back time, and see what a bastard he was, maybe I wouldn't be such a lonely mess now, I'm unlikely to ever have a relationship again, and I have no real friends, and I'm still and will always be ashamed. You get what you deserve huh?

mumat39 Thu 11-Jul-13 12:58:03

I agree that the blame lies with the cheater. They are the ones who have made a commitment to their husband/wife/partner/boyfriend/girlfriend.

The OM or OW, are also to blame if they knowingly get involved with someone who is already 'taken'. If they don't know then they can't be held responsible at all.

I just don't understand why any OM or OW, wouldn't just say, they're not interested in pursuing a relationship until the current one that the prospective cheater is in is over and they are available, iykwim? If the prospective cheater is so unhappy and so misunderstood, why haven't they left their spouse/partner already.

Why would anyone be happy to be a 'bit on the side' or a 'try before you buy' person.

I know the exuberance of youth or the 'moment' can sometimes get the better of people, but don't people learn the concept of off limits at school when kids first start 'going out'.

I don't know if this sort of thing has gone on at this rate forever, but it seems that some people chose to live their lives as if they were in a soap opera, definitely a case of life imitating art, or at least rubbish tv.

Offred Thu 11-Jul-13 13:59:48

Why are you assuming ow/om are after monogamy and a serious relationship. Plenty of people are just after something casual. Married dating websites are making loads off that fact.

Affairs are all different. The one with the commitment's the one who is responsible, we are all agreed on that.

SawofftheOW Thu 11-Jul-13 18:24:58

Stooshe, you are SO right.My DH's OW started to describe the time since they had last had sex in terms of the number of periods she had had. It was clear to me,when I found that out afterwards, but not to him at the time- god, why are men so stupid - that pregnancy was her goal.She realised that he wouldn't 'commit' to her and decided that the ultimate trap was the route to go. Mercifully - and I thank god - a baby never happened, but I know for sure that it wasn't for want of her trying. She wanted, as you say, to prove that she could extract a married man from his W and DC. When he ended it she couldn't believe that he would choose 'that ugly demented witch' (me) over 'beautiful, body-to-die for' her. Such modesty. Such a fucking bitch.

MorrisZapp Thu 11-Jul-13 18:47:27

Your husbands are grown men with free will. I find this thread thread depressing and sexist. Why would unhingea blame herself for a fourteen year abusive relationship with a man who lied to her? Anybody could make that mistake.

Some of the woman language on this thread is grim.

SawofftheOW, do you mind me asking how you know that stuff about the OWs periods?

Life is grim when you discover everything you ever had in your marriage is now ruined with lies.

I'm struggling because I've discoved an emotional affair and to me it is just as horrid if I had discovered that were having sex, I discovered the build up, the emotional getting to know one another, him thinking about her, it's sickening.

un your post made me so sad, it's that realisation that we only have this life and look what has happened to it sad

Some people are judt plain nasty and selfish. End of thread.

itwillgetbettersoon Thu 11-Jul-13 19:16:30

My STBXH had a short affair with a colleague half his age. As soon as I found out I asked him to leave. He didn't go but didn't try and for six weeks we lived in hell. He carried on seeing her unbeknown to me. She kept stalking our house and phoning offering him a life - LOL - he was 45 she was 26. In the end she came to collect him as I told him to go. He packed his bags in front of our 10 year old. I will never forgive him.

However I now tolerate his company. He comes to the house to see children - entirely his choice not mine. I kindly suggested he could join up with us on holiday for a couple of days. He said if he did that he would have nowhere to go on his return as she doesn't trust him with me. I told him I don't shag other people's partners. At the end of the day that is what it comes down to morals and i have buckets more than either of them.


This women is my age, failed marriage because he cheated on her and was horrible to her, left her as a single mum to a lovely little girl the same age as our middle daughter, she is now in a new relationship and still, still entered into this, start of what ever the outcome is going to be.

I just don't understand it at all.

JustinBsMum Thu 11-Jul-13 19:33:06

I was wondering why women seem to be less sympathetic or empathetic and more critical of other women than they are of men.

Perhaps it is just some survival of the fittest instinct that women fight for themselves and their offspring first and if that means crapping on someone else's doorstep too bad.

But perhaps the fact that from the start women take second place and know they have second place and therefore fight for what they want rather than just assume they will eventually get it, or are entitled to it, like men, and this means that they deliberately harden themselves to other women's, or anyone they have to trample's, emotions.

Entitled is another word on my list.

He is coming across as entitled, put out that I am not putting up with it and have thrown him out, that sounds so dramatic, in truth I put his belongs outside and with a tired, sad, weary plea asked him to give me space.

I don't feel second best to anyone but I do feel the need to protect and teach my children by example of self respect, I've also told them that grown ups some times make mistakes and we don't always know the answer.

My head hurts and my heart feels bruised sad

TooManyDicksOnTheDancefloor Thu 11-Jul-13 21:06:14

I think the OP's question is a valid one, in this case it just happens to be a woman. She has acknowledged that her husband is a shit, but why do some people get involved with people who are married and have children? This is something that I could never do, I feel guilty about everything, the thought of hurting another woman in the worst way possible, devastating her children and ripping a family apart is totally abhorrent to me. Anyone defending the women in this case needs to have a serious look at themselves. Yes, the husband made the vows, but this does not absolve the woman of any responsibility, the woman is just as much to blame, and vice versa if it was the other way around. You must have pretty low morals if you can somehow justify this behaviour.

Mixxy Thu 11-Jul-13 21:42:01

Well if nobody else is going to mention it...

saw You seem incredibly happy that your DH chose you (after chosing both). All your scorn seems directed at OW. Do you really forgive your DH that much?

Im very clear in my thinking and I don't for one minute believe I have lead any sort of sheltered life.

HE did this to us, HE has blown our little family apart, were we 100% amazingly happy with balancing work, DC, general life? Maybe not but he should have discussed that with me, thought about me, emailed me not her, he shouldn't have started to communicate with her, injecting a thrill in his high pressured senior role, he always had me, he just had to think about our marriage before seeking emotional ego boasts from her.

She knows me, our DC, she got a kick out of the senior manager confiding in her no doubt, what ever her motives or thoughts they certainly weren't for me, her boyfriend or all the DC involved and for that she disgusts me.

I ant believe I am going to face her next week, with my DC by my side and my head held high. I have don't nothing wrong, unlike her.

He is uninvited btw.

SawofftheOW Thu 11-Jul-13 22:12:16

God no, it has been terrible and he was a total bastard for a long time. My comment was in response to Stooshe's about women trying to get pregnant to put pressure on him to leave his W and DC. How did I know about her measuring the frequency of their sexual relationship by her periods? Well she was generous enough to send me all the intimate emails and texts they had exchanged, just so I would understand the extent of his disloyalty and betrayal. She hoped that my devastation on seeing them would trigger me to throw him out. At that point I had fought for six months to regain my marriage - we had been wonderfully happy over many years and the dreadful time we went through before his affair was atypical. He never made any move to leave but struggled with his besottedness with her. It tore me apart but like some others on this site, I wasn't prepared to give up on a 16 year marriage and for the sake of our 3 DC without a fight - the OW had no RIGHT to come into my life and my marriage, just as he had no RIGHT to fuck her in our home when I was away with work and our DC were at Scouts/cubs. If he chose to go ultimately, so be it. I would have been beyond devastation as he is the love of my life, but I wasn't prepared to let a predatory woman take him from his family without making my and our case vociferously. Believe me, I have no illusions about his willingness to get involved with her and he was as culpable as her. But when he decided to end and attempt to repair an utterly desecrated and devastated marriage, she became incredibly vicious and threw everything at me to try and prompt me to throw him out. We moved jobs (he worked with her) and ultimately home such was her determination to stay in our lives. In the end the police were involved as they considered my personal safety was at risk. So believe me no one can suggest I am 'incredibly pleased' about anything. He was appalling, she was appalling and I was traduced by them both. But I had read Andrew Marshall and Shirley Glass's books about the 'bubble world' that an affair exists within and I hoped that once the fantasy was broken, he might see reason. He is now totally remorseful and would do anything to unkiss that first kiss, to not have said 'yes' when she first suggested coffee. She, however, has no remorse about the pain and humiliation she inflicted on her H and 2 DCs - she told me so herself and said she would do it all again if she could because she will always want him.

Saw I am so sorry to read your post and what you have been through.

I'm thinking from a different view maybe, he made his choices to instigate this EA and she made the choice to engage.

Now I have discovered it I am the one that makes the decisions not him and especially not her, I mean, he isn't a catch right now is he? If he can't remain solid and faithful in a marriage of 10Yrs + with many emotional events under our belt how long does she think she can keep him engaged for before he sets his targets on the next bit of excitement that walks into the building with access to a computer and mobile phone?

Right now he disgusts me and so does she, I'm getting wrinkles with al this sour face pulling whilst typing.

SawofftheOW Thu 11-Jul-13 22:21:37

Oh and I'm still on anti-D's although 2.5 years on I hope I can start weaning myself off them. So no pleasure in any of it. None at all. But I won't deny that I hate her totally and anyone who had seen at first hand her attempts to destroy me, and my H, personally and professionally since she realised that she was not going to become his second wife would understand why. I owe her nothing and certainly not forgiveness. And before you ask, I haven't forgiven him and I suspect I never will but I have had to learn to live with it. I wasn't a volunteer for any of it and neither were our DCs.

Saw I'm so sorry.

Some human beings can be such cruel creatures sad

SawofftheOW Thu 11-Jul-13 22:25:30

Sorry Inthe, didn't mean to whinge so much on your thread. Good luck - you are SO courageous x

Not at all saw in a cruel way to is therapeutic to read prospective s from someone who has come so far.

I don't know whether I can ever forgive, or if I want to but it is still a possibility I suppose so all views help and I appreciate you taking the time to share, it must be very difficult for you.

Are you beginning to trust him again, how do you do it, do you still feel the urge to checkup on him?

Oh and I like to be called Red suits my mood grin

qualitytoffee Thu 11-Jul-13 22:54:07

in, you poor wee pet xxx (hugs) xx
If its any consolation. i've been there, got the t-shirt xx
I'm not going to be blase but pet it will get better, not today, not tomorrow, but one day you'll wake up and your first thought won't be "him", it'll be different, as you get stronger xxx
In answer to your question, i think a massive lack of insecurity and morals plus a great need to be loved in a needy way, is why. But fuck her, she;s not important, you are pet.
As for him, please don't blame yourself in any of this, he chose to do this, its nothing yo did or didn't do, or should or shouldn't have done.
Right now, you need to be kind to yourself, and nore importantly, don't let your thoughts headfuck you xx

Time, time, time.

I'm 5 days/nights in and it feels surreal.

So much to busy myself with, I strangely don't miss him in the evenings?

I'm so glad he isn't here right now.

Guilty pleasure of mine is BB, Dexter is putting it across in the raw viewing that it is and Hazel appears to be unaware even though she knows that Daley is in a relationship.

Yes he is responsible but I hope she watches it back and thinks.

"Haven't kissed cuddled so that is ok?"


Although Dexter has said Daley doesn't deserve Hazel's approaches hmm Daley needs to grow the fuck up and own up to his behaviour.

SawofftheOW Thu 11-Jul-13 23:48:23

Red, difficult one. He has been genuinely and relentlessly remorseful. He is mortified by his behaviour and I admit that I spent the first 12 months after 'discovery' raging at him, when I wasn't weeping. The OW engineering to get me arrested didn't help since I ended up in a police station totally humiliated because he had been involved with this vengeful bitch. Fortunately the police quickly realised that her allegations of assault were a total fabrication but as someone who wouldn't even dream of dropping litter, it was a horrific and completely surreal experience. But we now have more days than bad and I am slowly, slowly finding a different perspective. I know it is often easily said, but sometimes a better marriage can emerge from the ashes of these life-changing events. I realise how much he means to me rather than take his love for granted in the way I probably did before. He thinks I am amazing for enduring all that I have because of her actions since the affair ended and is horrified that he ever thought that such a person could be a SM to his DCs. He is genuinely ashamed. And with my new strength and a little distance from the horror that followed discovery, I know now that he wants to be with me as much as I want to live the rest of my life with him. Are we the same people? No. Am I still afraid? Yes but less often. I also work in a profession that supports terminally ill people so I know how fragile life is, how very short it can be and how grateful I am that he and I have both been given a second chance when most of my lovely clients don't have that option. If you want him back, Red, don't let anyone tell you that you are wrong in that desire. It may not work out but I'm glad, so very glad, that I ignored the advice of most of my friends to 'kick the bastard out'. It was so hard to continue to be humiliated by him and her until it hit him what a fool he had been and began to turn back into the man I had once known rather than a vicious, entitled, petulant man who was unrecognisable to me and our DCs. At times I could have killed him and I regret begging him to give her up since I must have looked so pathetic, but that was then and this is now. Thinking of you, Red - you'll be in my thoughts tonight. X

Sawthank you again. For taking the time to post, I know I will read your replies often from now to when needed.

Braver to stay or go?

I don't know.

Nights are so hard when alone, I should be in bed but i know sleep won't come, just holding it together ready for the weekend.

I have a thread on the other side, low traffic but amazing support, I've explained more about the weekend coming there and my conversations with DC .

I would like a whole weekend by ourselves without him at all, it will, be a week since discovery at 2.30am this saturday morning, I'm not being mean for wanting this time without his presence am I?

BeCool Fri 12-Jul-13 00:13:39

The OW didn't take vows with you. Doesn't know you or your children. Has no loyalty or love for you. She might not even think much about you at all. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but for the OW its not about you at all.

I'm not saying its right - clearly there is nothing right about what you are going through. But as far as the OW will be concerned its not about you at all.

You H - well another story entirely. He is the one who lied, cheated, made rubbish of his vows, neglected the needs of his children and spun a web of deceit through your lives. He is the one who married you, who knew you, and who did this to YOU anyway.

You unfortunately married a selfish thoughtless individual.

I know, read my posts.

Thirdtry22 Fri 12-Jul-13 00:19:56

Im so sorry for your pain. My first dh had an affair with a work colleague when my 2nd dd was a tiny baby. She was 16, he was 28. She wormed her way into our home by offering to babysit. She became a family friend over time, I had no idea she had a sordid motive by wanting to be around so much. Then I found out........I missed her as a friend and as she was so young I forgave her (not him, as he was older and I felt took advantage of her). A year or two down the line she had a new job and began an affair with another older married man with kids!!!! When she told me I can't repeat what I said. I left her crying in the street and never spoke to her again. Many years have passed since then and I hear she has never had children of her own. One thing I did know, she loved kids and would have loved some. So maybe she got her come-uppance? Hang in there OP. Be strong and in time it will get better. xx

Looksgoodingravy Fri 12-Jul-13 00:36:35

Red, so sorry you're going through this sad

My world was turned upside down last year. I've walked this path too and it's bloody devastating.

I'm still with dp, it's been a slow process but we are building our relationship again. He is bitterly sorry for everything he has done, I can't actually believe he was the same person.

For a time in our relationship he became a selfish twunt!

Give yourself time it's so very early since discovery. You will be emotional. You won't know how you really feel about everything until the dust settles.

You need to be kind to yourself, surround yourself with close friends who will be a shoulder.

Take care and I promise you this you WILL be a stronger person in time.

Darkesteyes Fri 12-Jul-13 01:46:54

OffredWed 10-Jul-13 11:41:20

It's not a "we can't help our feelings" thing it is a 'OW/M are not responsible for another person's commitments' thing.

Not everyone feels the same way about marriage or fidelity. Not every situation is the same. Although I think all affairs are wrong, for example, the nastiness of the cheater can hugely vary i.e. the difference between darkesteyes' cheating in a sexless marriage and the horrible man who recently left his wife pregnant with their fourth child saying he'd cheated all along because he never loved her.

The ow/om are fairly materially irrelevant to the situation, the decision to cheat is being made by the one with the commitment. The ow/om is making a decision to be with that person not to devastate a wife/children.

Thankyou Offred. thanks Ive never thought of myself as a nasty person and a recent thread on here has made me realise that DH has a mild form of the Madonna/whore complex. When he found out about my affair he did call me a bitch under his breath and my mum called me a whore. Even though he hadnt touched me for 7 years at that point and had refused counselling. I didnt plan the affair and my OM was single with no kids. I have no DC either. You cant win as a woman Society either labels you as a slut or frigid. Ive never seen a man who doesnt want sex get labelled as frigid but ive seen women called it. I think there is a Madonna/whore complex in society tbh.

Darkesteyes Fri 12-Jul-13 01:53:30

Sorry if i havent explained that well. I havent read the thread youve mentioned Offred. That sounds horrific. sad

Mixxy Fri 12-Jul-13 02:52:23

Wow saw you have been through the ringer, huh? You
sound incredibly strong. Maybe I am an unforgiving person. I'll have to dwell on that tonight.

Offred Fri 12-Jul-13 07:13:32

I was saying you aren't nasty darkesteyes. I think affairs are always wrong or at the very least not right but I think vast vast difference between your situation and the woman I mentioned. It isn't a madonna/whore thing for me, it is about the commitment to communicate so that people are able to make honest choices. I think you had an affair to cope with staying in a shit marriage which is understandable but still I think not right (for you mainly).

Darkesteyes Fri 12-Jul-13 15:35:46

Thanks Offred thanks

SawofftheOW Fri 12-Jul-13 17:05:36

Thanks Mixxy - actually I don't think I was strong and certainly I was pathetic a lot of the time. I lost count of the times I went down on my knees in front of him, totally demolished emotionally and physically by it all. Losing 3 stone in five weeks was also pretty spectacular. Watching him dress himself to go out to the pub with her, leaving me and our DC alone on a beautiful Sunday afternoon while he swanned off with his 'great love' was about the nadir. I still can't understand why I didn't drive to the pub myself and confront them both. Perhaps a little part of me knew that if I did - and I have a hell of a temper once I finally lose it - I would have physically attacked them both irrespective of how many people were in the pub.I would have happily gouged out her eyes. God that sounds awful as I abhor violence, but such was my devastation and rage and such was her regular taunting of me via text, email and turning up seemingly everywhere I went. I also think I KNEW that she WANTED me to hit her because she knew I would lose my job and it would also reinforce to him what an 'awful' person I was, attacking his poor darling, giving her the 'moral' high ground (errr...). Instead I comforted her H on the phone as he sobbed about his W's terrible behaviour and his fears for their future. I also had to keep our DC calm and lied to them that Daddy had had to go into work. They lived in terror of him leaving since he had repeatedly told me in front of them that he didn't want to 'waste' the rest of his life with me when he could be with her. In hindsight I sometimes fantasise that I had been braver at that point and told him to get lost when he returned home, smelling of her perfume, but I KNEW that if I threw him out, he would go to her - just what she wanted. She had already started visiting flats for their 'new life' together and I wasn't prepared to give her what she wanted on a plate. He had to be the one to go. And as I said on another response, he never actually LEFT. Oh yes, he would storm out and so would I. But he always came back - and all he had to do if he really wanted to go was drive to our local town 2 miles away and pick her up. She never gave up waiting for him and told him she spent hours at the window, hoping his car would pull up in front of the house and take her away to their sunset together. I think my decision to hang on, despite all his verbal abuse and posturing has been vindicated subsequently. I know that is no more than the luck of the drawer though. When the chips were really down and she was lying their metaphorically on a plate with her legs wide open, he didn't want to take up the option. Sadly too many Mumsnetters are faced with a far worse scenario of their beloved DH's leaving with seemingly no qualms.

Mixxy Fri 12-Jul-13 17:58:27

Wow, just wow, Saw. I couldn't. I just couldn't. Frankly, I'm not that opposed to violence. And I would have been the idiot who went to the pub that day and would have cheerfully smacked a bottle off the bar and into her throat, only to remove it and stuck him too.

But you see the long game. I am all rage and thunder. But to what useful end?

I hope you keep posting, on this and other threads. You really have an insight and a result.

I'm in awe of you.

Wow Saw you sound like an amazingly strong women.

I can't imagine ever being able to forgive even though a part of me still loves him and wants to erase all of this.

I'm drained at how consuming it all is and how painful.

hmsvictoria Fri 12-Jul-13 21:38:12

Oh Red, so sorry for you. It's a horrible, horrible situation to be in, and I completely agree re the OW.

It was worse in my case because he shagged her in the cheapest possible circumstances over a long period of time. And she wasn't just trampling all over my DC's happiness, but also that of her own DC. As a wife and mother, I just cannot compute that. Shagging or not, same basis of broken trust etc.

XH says that he (spectacularly naive, stupid, selfish-absorbed) never imagined we'd find out. He pushed the potential consequences to the back of his mind and smiled when he came home, pretended to be a good Dad. Twat. I suppose she did the same.

The whole thing still makes me feel physically sick 3 years on, I find it so cheap and revolting. We're all still paying the price of his lies and I still cry when I think back to what I thought were good times but which turned out to be lies too.

But I'm coping. It's hard work, but I'm doing ok. It took me 2 years to make a final decision about us, but I don't regret ending what had become such a massive drain on my self-esteem and strength. I don't know what the future holds for me, him or our DC, but at the moment I am better off emotionally without him hanging around making me feel worthless.

Just believe that you'll be ok in the end, if you don't compromise yourself or your values.

I'm so sorry hms sad

Apparently she wants to talk to me, to reassure me they meant no harm with their flirty emails, it was all innocent.


You keep telling yourself that, whatever makes you feel better and able to sleep at night you stupid, naive women, I wonder if her partner would agree with her or me?

Mixxy Fri 12-Jul-13 22:56:29

I'm amazed she has the balls! red

Why doesn't she have her partner call her. Make things a bit more equal?

The cunt.

Mixxy Fri 12-Jul-13 22:56:57

And it just proves he contacted her about it! Och! I just don't know.

Yep, called her the day after I forced him to leave. Apparently told her I had read their emails and I wasn't happy at all - forgot to ask if he had told her I'd made him leave, hate the thought of her telling anyone at work. I'm proud that I've managed a week there without anyone asking if I'm ok or me losing it.

I'm not wearing my wedding rings mind, that might start the rumours but I have a few people at work that I KNOW would call me out if they thought something was wrong...

Mixxy Fri 12-Jul-13 23:11:47

You, my lady, are tough as nails.

And I might add, a darn sight classier about all this than I would be able to muster.

Keep it country (as they would say where I'm from!)

"Keep it country" you lost me there... grin

I know I shouldn't laugh and i did set DD straight but (she is 9) when I told her (because he didn't/wouldn't) I've found emails on his phone and he had been talking to another women instead of talking to me and that has hurt my feel feelings she said "if I ever meet her she won't last 3 seconds, I'll push her under a bus" shock grin

I explained that he needs to be responsible etc and she came back with "it's not her place to email him when she knows he is married, that's just yucky, she can't be a very nice person can she"

Bless her.

Mixxy Fri 12-Jul-13 23:25:17

Smart, smart girl. You've done very well with her, haven't you?

I hope that bus comes along soon. grin

Keep it country? God, I don't know how to explain that one. It kind of means 'old school' and 'don't act the maggot'.

Don't act the maggot?!?! I'm actually laughing out loud now grin

Life has a habit of getting in the way and its all too easy to get caught up in school runs, work, housework, DC bickering day in day out, over and ver again. I haven't taken time to realise what lovely girls they are turning into and how sensible their little heads are even in all of this mess.

Never imagined I would be having an honest conversation with a 9 year old about self respect and how important it is to like yourself and the person your are/decisions you make and how you need to take responsibility for your actions.

Can't believe I've agreed to work on a Saturday hmm <glances at watch>

Mixxy Sat 13-Jul-13 00:32:20

Goodness, I'm so provincial blush

I think you and your daughters are wonderful. It sounds like a fantastic mother/DD relationship.b

burberryqueen Sat 13-Jul-13 08:14:44

lol mixxy my dad says that 'don't act the maggot' grin a great expression!

Selba Sat 13-Jul-13 09:17:21

does everyone think its a good idea to tell a nine year old child the details of why their dad is being asked to leave ? I don't .
OP I wish you well in your recovery from what has been a devastating blow to your family .

Hat else do you suggest? Lie to her? The reason he isn't here is because of lies.

I have given her bare facts, minimal amount and told her everyone deserves the right to feel happy and loved.

No manual or instructions so I'm just doing what feels right, and I know my daughter.

Lioninthesun Sat 13-Jul-13 10:38:20

Skimmed the thread so apologies if it has been said already, but I think a lot of OW are younger and don't have kids.This is a bit of a lethal combo as they are naive enough to be lured in by the lying bastard, and selfish enough not to think much other than how special he is making her feel. She may have no concept of kids, or possibly see them as a huge burden she can understand him wanting to be away from.
I hope you feel better OP. Sorry you have been beaten with the shitty stick x

hmsvictoria Sat 13-Jul-13 11:59:14

Selba, there's no way lying to a 9-year-old or pretending everything is fine would help her.

IME, Red has done the right thing in giving the age-appropriate truth, because she clearly needed to know.

My DDs were 10 and 12 when the truth about their Dad's deceit came out and there was no way I was going to lie or let anyone else lie to them. It was a hard lesson for them, but they have definitely coped better than they would have with a 'none of your business' response.

Thanks hms. It's an obvious worry about doing the right thing, I can't pretend all day and night that im ok because I'm not, our 5 year old is Totally unaware that anything is wrong but I can't hide it all from the older 2.

Wellwobbly Sat 13-Jul-13 18:22:33

'I think it's improbable to have discreet affairs without there being some hurt either.

If anything's 'simplistic' it is that belief.' - I agree with this. This assumes compartmentalisation works. Does it really?

Affairs take planning juggling and thought. They also gender a LOT of ecstatic feel-good sensations.

This drains energy and emotion away from the marriage, and the spouse and family are severely neglected. Look at the text which hurt this wife: blah blah just my thoughts. He was AT HOME, but mentally with Miss Feelgood.

How many devastated threads on here, saying 'I have been depressed'; and then with the help of the MN sleuths, how the depression has been roughly as long as shitbag the other spouse has been otherwise engaged.

No, affairs are very much felt in a marriage, even if not consciously. I really wish that society would again acknowledge how damaging they are. Offred's hip and happening intellectualising 'its no big deal (they are all different)' just does not cut it for me. This stuff really really hurts.

Wellwobbly Sat 13-Jul-13 18:25:36


Musings on Giving a Shit
by CHUMP LADY on JULY 11, 2013
It stands to reason, that if you don’t like someone very much, they can’t hurt you very deeply. There just aren’t that many emotional sunk costs. I suppose some people swan through life quite superficially, never giving very deeply of themselves or committing too much. Nonchalance as armor. Apathy as an insurance policy.

Yet, I don’t think most humans are wired to be that way. We’re wired to connect and bond. And we’re not alone in this either. Scientists have discovered that other animals display empathy and social interdependence. Even a rat will stop and help a fellow rat escape a cage instead of choosing a treat for himself. (Yes, even rats are more altruistic than cheaters.)

But it seems to me that we live in an age of cynicism. It probably began with the David Letterman irony of the 1980s and is now in its halcyon days with reality television, celebrity culture, and the sociopaths on Wall St.

It’s cool to be a narcissist! And there’s a shit load of money to be made. Sure we laugh (ironically, of course) at the Kardashians. But who doesn’t want their own reality TV show? Or youtube channel? Or personal brand?

It’s an era of I got mine and fuck you. It’s in our politics. It’s in our culture. It’s in that stuck up playgroup mommy who won’t ask her kid to get off the swings already. Of course, sometimes all this entitlement comes back and bites us in the ass. Bernie Madoff goes to jail, for instance, and we all tut tut. But then some board of directors approves CEO salary raises for a hundred other Madoff wannabes. Some of us caterwaul, more folks admire the moxie and wonder why they didn’t go into finance.

Narcissists are nothing new and oligarchs have been with us always. But we didn’t have social media to blast their lifestyles in our face constantly and make us want to buy crap. No, the fabulous people in days gone by had the good sense to build their castles far away, hide behind giant hedgerows, and not give interviews. Now, it seems, the more dim-witted among us, (like cheaters) look at those lifestyles and think — yeah, I deserve that. I’ll get mine and fuck you.

It’s not a good time in history to be a chump. Was it ever? Well, it used to be infidelity was considered dangerous and full of tragic consequence. If you were a chump, society understood that you’d be full of rage and might even kill someone. We had “crimes of passion.” I’m not saying go shoot affair partners (we’re all about “meh” here at Chump Lady) — I’m saying that sympathy used to reside with the chump, and outrage was clearly directed at the cheater and the “home wrecker.” We understood that the pain of betrayal drove ordinary people to extremes.

That’s been the conventional wisdom going back through the ages. To the Bible with Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery. To Shakespearean tragedies. Othello weeps and agonizes, before killing Desdemona just on the (wrongful) suspicion that she’s been unfaithful. “Yet she must die, else she’ll betray more men.” Elizabethans understood that to cheat on someone who loved you was to destroy them.

My wife! my wife! what wife? I have no wife.
O insupportable! O heavy hour!
Methinks it should be now a huge eclipse
Of sun and moon, and that the affrighted globe
Should yawn at alteration.

Or check out the old British folk song Matty Groves. Lord Donald’s wife cheats on him with Matty Groves. He finds the couple in bed and tells the naked man to have one of his swords and strike him first, before asking:

“How do you like my feather bed? And how do you like my sheets? And how do you like my lady who lies in your arms asleep?”

Lord Donald kills Matty Groves and when his wife says she enjoyed fucking Matty better than him, he drives a knife through her heart and buries the cheaters together in the same grave. “But bury my lady at the top, for she was of noble kin.”

Or the blues song Frankie and Albert (also known as Frankie and Johnny) — where Frankie shoots her unfaithful lover.

“Boohoo, boohoo, boohoo, Frankie cried, ‘Baby what have I done? I shot the only man that I loved with a Colt 41.’ She shot that man, ’cause he was doing her wrong.”

Today? In our culture? Iago would say to Othello — “Dude, get over it already.” Lord Donald would probably commit murder suicide from the shame. And Frankie and Albert would go to marriage counseling, where the shrink would ask Frankie why she wasn’t meeting Albert’s needs. Maybe she should spice things up things in the bedroom, so he wouldn’t go back to Nelly Bly.

There was a time when we understood that infidelity drove people out of their minds’ with pain. Now it’s a big whatever. Did you get played for a sucker? Well, that’s your fault. You expected too much. What did you do to make them do that? And Get Over It Already!

Maybe you cared too much. Sentimentality is for suckers. Commitment is for chumps. There’s a “new monogamy” now which is really no monogamy at all, because only unsophisticated rubes expect people to keep their promises to them. You fell for that? Did you give too much? Well, that was your choice then, wasn’t it? Surely you didn’t expect reciprocity. Didn’t you have a Plan B? You put all the eggs in that basket? That was sure dumb of you.

My cheater said to me after D-Day, “Don’t be such a Pollyanna. Everybody cheats.”

The problem wasn’t that he cheated. No, the problem was that I didn’t manage my expectations of him properly. How dare I be upset that he didn’t keep his commitments! My heartbreak was just a symptom of my naivety. Of being an unsophisticated Pollyanna.

There isn’t anything wrong with chumps for assuming that their partners would be faithful. There is something terribly wrong, however, with a culture that thinks you should shrug at infidelity, and better yet — be friends with the person who betrayed you. Have Thanksgiving dinners together! Be progressive and evolved! Do it for the kids!

Lord Donald didn’t throw dinner parties with Matty Groves. He told the man who fucked his wife to put his pants on, take his best shot — and then he killed him.

I’m not advocating chump violence. I’m advocating understanding. Chumps are entitled to their grief and anger. The world must recognize once again that infidelity is life altering, tragic and terrifying. That betrayal is not a big shrug. It is fully human to love completely. We are wired to bond and it’s not naive to do so. We are not unsophisticated to expect people to honor their commitments to us. On the contrary, chumps are a better class of people because they DO honor their commitments. Which is a damn sight better than I can say for the narcissists in our culture who take, take, take and want to exhaust every resource for their personal glory.

It is better to give a shit. It is better to be a chump. (An older but wiser chump.)

Well thank you or taking the time to post. Being a naive chump I have never heard of chump lady, it's right because I do feel a fool for giving him my everything.

That said, we have spent time togeather today and it was easier than I bought it would be but as much as it was nice to have him here with the children I still can't help feeling so dissapointed and hurt by him.

yetanotherstatistic Sun 14-Jul-13 00:36:41

One of my stbxh's OW was well aware of tbe presence of his family having got to know us socially before embarking on an affair. Don't know how she justified to herself the attraction but it ended badly - karma must have kicked in. The current OW does mean more to him I think but she too has gone into this well aware of the situation and was able to end our relationship. She has yet to discover what he is truly like and when realisation does dawn she will have paid the price.

It is easy to have sympathy for an OW who had no idea that her man was married but to knowingly get involved is despicable . The H is in no way absolved of wrongdoing.

Offred Sun 14-Jul-13 00:51:15

Please don't misquote me wellwobbly.

Where have I said it is no big deal?

I am simply saying I don't think it is fair to extrapolate the responsibility for a marriage vow as far as an affair partner. That's all.

Nothing about hurt.

Wellwobbly Sun 14-Jul-13 12:54:00

Sorry Offred if I got the gist of what you said wrong.

However I still disagree with you. An affair partner IS culpable. Of course they are. They are not passive helpless non-adults. They are moral agents as well as the spouse: to get involved with someone you KNOW is married/committed/has responsibilities to others, is to knowingly make yourself to someone who is by definition unavailable, and is to knowingly participate in the emotional, financial and sexual abuse of the unknowing people.

It is so logical and obvious there is a culpability: in this, I do think you intellectualise somewhat. That is my opinion and I own it.

Offred Sun 14-Jul-13 13:21:09

I don't think it is logical. It is emotional.

Very obviously normal to react emotionally when immediately emotionally affected. However if we're thinking more objectively about what other people's responsibilities should be to each other you might expect that people will not feel the same sense of duty to or responsibility or even know the terms of another's commitment and by making affair partners responsible I think you extrapolate the responsibility for a marriage further than it is necessary or fair to do.

Again, I'll remind you that I'm coming from a position of having been repeatedly cheated on by my ex and understanding how it feels immediately after to want to hate the OW.

Wellwobbly Mon 15-Jul-13 10:40:40

I think you need to have a rethink on culpability.

Whilst of course the person most culpable is the person making the choice to cheat, the person making themselves available knowing that person is not available and has commitment to others, carries culpability also.

She is allowing something wrong to go ahead! More than that, she is actively assisting it! He/she is more than just a blow up doll. They are human agents.

Offred Wed 24-Jul-13 07:46:52

But do I really need to point out the very obvious fact that not all affair partners do know, that there is the matter of when did they know if they did know and also the issue mentioned many times before that actually lots of young and naive egotistical girls (normal at that age) just don't understand because they don't have children/serious partners?

Also, I think you have to get over the fact that actually not everybody thinks affairs/fidelity are as important as you do in moral terms. I think I'd be more towards your end of the spectrum but a lot of people don't see it as that important, I know.

I do think though that people who have a long term extreme reaction to infidelity do themselves and their children no favours. It does actually hold you back in your life to put so much emotional energy into a dead relationship. A crap person and their behaviour. Initially it is understandable to have an extreme reaction, I think everybody does, and if there has been abuse then that is what is hard to get over but infidelity in the scale of things doesn't need to be made into such a big deal, unless it is part of the abuse, which in your case I think it was wasnt it?

arequipa Wed 24-Jul-13 10:03:59

"I had to lock him out..."
No you didn't. That made it worse for your children. He did the bad thing but please take responsibility for your reaction and the effect that had on your kids.

OctopusPete8 Wed 24-Jul-13 10:11:04

You're DH betrayed you and made a mockery of his vows, as well as putting you at risk of STI's etc,

But I get the 'How could you knowing he has a family at home' train of thought, I have no sympathy for someone who would willingly take part in an affair.

ResNulis Wed 24-Jul-13 10:22:21

Hi Red - just chipping in to say that you are doing amazingly well for someone in this position. Being (age appropriately) honest with your DDs is the best thing you could have done. They will be your strength and motivator I would not have got through without my girls
The road ahead will certainly not be easy, and do be aware that there is an emotional payback for having so much strength at this stage. The journey is a rollercoaster of emotion, even if the decision is made by you and was absolutely the right choice.


Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now